A list of the top third basemen to draft for 2014 fantasy baseball.
1. Miguel Cabrera Detroit Tigers
In what has become the norm, Cabrera put together another season for the ages in 2013, besting even his 2012 Triple Crown campaign. Cabrera finished last season hitting .348/.442/.636 with 44 homers, 137 RBI and 103 runs. His 1.078 OPS was easily a career best as he paced the rest of the majors by a wide margin in the category. His plate discipline improved dramatically, bouncing back from a dip in walk rate during the 2012 season (9.8 percent), to 13.8 percent last year. And the scary part is Miggy’s season could have been even better if not for a lingering groin injury, which sapped his production at the plate in September and during the postseason. After the Tigers were ousted from the playoffs, Cabrera was diagnosed with a groin tear. He underwent surgery in late October to repair the injury, but is fully expected to be ready for spring training. To help prevent future injury risk, the Tigers are expected to slide Cabrera back over to first base following the trade of Prince Fielder to Texas in November. At age 30, Cabrera is still in the prime of his career. Barring an unforeseen setback, fantasy owners will once again want to target Cabrera near the top of the draft.
2. David Wright New York Mets
Wright, for the second time in three years, had an injury wreak havoc with his season. This time, it was a strained right hamstring that sidelined him from the beginning of August for seven weeks. Wright had a big first half, starting the All-Star Game at Citi Field, and looked to be on pace for another 20-plus HR, 90-plus RBI and possible 30-steal campaign before the injury. He only saw a handful of games when returned, so his overall numbers are skewed by the fact that he only played in 112 contests. Wright's walk, strikeout and contact rates along with his BABIP were pretty close to his 2012 campaign, while his ISO power spiked for the second straight season. He should once again be one of the top third basemen off the board in fantasy drafts.
3. Evan Longoria Tampa Bay Rays
After an injury-shortened campaign in 2012, Longoria proved in 2013 what he can bring to the Rays' offense. While a .269 batting average may not seem overly impressive, he posted an .842 OPS and had the third 30-homer season of his career. His RBI total fell to 88 and his strikeout rate rose to 23.4%, but he managed to play in a career-high 160 games. He brings big power to the middle of the order for the Rays and was a finalist for a Gold Glove Award for his prowess defensively. The dip in RBI production is likely not too concerning, since he hit .284/.375/.453 with runners on base. Longoria will enter his age-28 season as an elite option at the hot corner. If he remains healthy, the developing power talent of Wil Myers near him in the lineup will only help him see better pitches to hit. He is a solid bet most seasons to hit 30 home runs with 100 RBI.
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2014 Fantasy Rankings
Who are the top players you should be considering in your fantasy baseball drafts this year? Find out by browsing our overall rankings for 2013.
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